1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


TC TO JANE BAILLIE WELSH; 12 April 1825; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18250412-TC-JBW-01; CL 3:315-316.


18. Salisbury-street, Tuesday— [12 April 1825]

Alas, my dearest! there is no hope of my getting out to-night or even to-morrow. Business proceeds with a snail's pace; and without making some injudicious conclusion of it, I see not how I can be free for several days to come. I had determined on communicating with Lockhart before making any final bargain; I declined taking Brewster's introduction by way of letter; and the active Doctor writes me that yesterday he could not find the critic at home. Today I hope he will be luckier; if not I shall in all probability proceed with the Taits and their “select novel” speculation, on my own private footing. I put no jot of faith in any one of these people: das Hunger treibt sie [hunger compels them], they stare with incredulous vacuity when any better purpose is hinted at. If Lockhart have no better stuff in him (which is improbable enough) than such unhappy drudges, his intimacy tho' it came unasked for would do little for me. Nous verrons [We shall see]. The Doctor is all awake about his “literary newspaper”;1 Lockhart and I are to take the Belles Letters department, he the scientific, and together we shall beat the world! I have no belief in this, and little inclination to make trial of it, none at all at present[.] The Doctor is a needy man; with £ 1000 a-year, it is still true das Hunger treibt ihn [him]. He thinks I may be profitable to him; and strives to be obliging. He advises me, and runs and stirs for me, wherever I request. On Saturday he gave me ingress to the most inane of scientific dinners; envious philosophuli, withered Blues, and French confectionery! Yet the very shew of friendship has its value, especially in this most sceptical and meagre of terrestrial cities. I thank God that I care no doit for its scepticism and cold frivolity: sympathy and love await me elsewhere; and I doubt not for a moment that the honest exertion of the honest faculties which nature and industry have given us will lead us ultimately to the happy—undivided, as it ever must be, from the good and the true.

This dealing with the Beasts of Ephesus2 will render Haddington the welcomer to me when I reach it. Let me not regret delays: I will have my full period of your society, come what may. The third of our story is not told yet; and I feel that the more we explain, we shall like each other the more trustfully and dearly. I am already twice as happy in you as I was. Let us believe in virtue and reason and one another, and fear nothing that can befal us!

Meanwhile I have sent you this book of Schiller's, in which you are to study at my return. Go on with your tasks, especially the last, and I will hasten out to see you, the first instant I am free. I fear it will be friday or saturday; and what is more disagreeable, I cannot with any certainty appoint the day. Be patient, and never expect me till I stand beside you, Brust an Brust und Lipp' auf Lippe [breast to breast and lip to lip].3

I am in a thousand hurries at this moment. Pardon this execrable scrawl. Present my kindest love to your Mother; and love me yourself forever. I am always and altogether yours,

Thomas Carlyle—